Wallabies want to embrace Cardiff cauldron

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

It might have a new name but Principality (formerly Millennium) Stadium holds the same hostile atmosphere it always has and it’s one the Wallabies will embrace.

Defence coach Nathan Grey has been to Millennium as a player and coach and told the new batch of Aussie players to simply enjoy it.

“It’s a magnificent stadium,” he said.

“We were just talking about it on the bus, coming up, that one of the truly great experiences in world rugby is being in that stadium and listening to that Welsh national anthem.

“So, we’ve got to make sure -  we’ve got nine guys who will be experiencing that for the first time -It’s important that they're not daunted by it but really suck it up and enjoy it.”

Te Wallabies last played on Millennium Stadium against Fiji. Photo: Getty IMagesOne of the players who has yet to step foot on the Cardiff cauldron is Reece Hodge and the rookie back said its reputation certainly preceded it.

“When you’ve got a lot of people cheering for Wales against you, it’s always going to be a bit of of a cauldron,” he said.

“Everyone enjoys playing there and I'm looking forward to the challenge if I'm selected this weekend.”

Hodge said it was up to the Wallabies to ensure the fans didn't take a lead role in the match.

“I don’t think we’ve focused too much on the crowd’s reception, wherever we go,” he said.

“I think obviously you’ve got to focus on your own game, whether the crowd’s against you or with you.

“If we prepare well this week, hopefully we’ll take the crowd out of the equation.

"As soon as you start letting the crowd, the noise, any distractions from the outside come into your game plan and how you execute then it’s only going to go one way and that’s against you.

“We’ve just got to be narrow minded and go out there and execute it."

With the Wales game the first in a five-week Spring Tour, Grey said it was crucial to take the win.

“We’ve come over here with a really clear indication and a real purpose of improving every time we play,” he said.

The Wallabies' first Test is against Wales on November 5. Photo: Getty Imges“It’s a big challenge front of us ,the five -week tour and the players and the coaching staff are very focused on this performance and putting everything into this first performance against Wales.

“Obviously we’re very clear with the teams we’re playing moving forward but the Welsh Test is a great opportunity for us to start our Spring Tour with a style of rugby that we’re proud of and playing a style and brand of rugby that our supporters back home and the supporters that are going to be over here are proud of.

“They’re things that are under our control so we’re focused on that.”

The Wallabies take on Wales this Sunday morning, 6 November from 1.30am AEDT on BeIn Sports Channel 513, as part of your FOXTEL subscription.